Inside the AMVCA 2016; Fashion, Film and Entertainment

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LAGOS – Last Saturday evening, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos was lit with stars of the Africa film and television industry for the fourth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA).

The awards under the tutelage of MultiChoice Africa are a reward for the most remarkable performances in the continent’s movie industry, with voting by the public.

The stars shone on the red carpet donning cut-to-fit suits/gowns or the vibrant traditional African print West Africa is known for. The performances by Mr Flavour, Zonke, Yemi Alade, Ali Kiba and Salvado Idringi were electrifying.DSC_7810 copy

WINNERS AND LOSERS

This year’s event could go down in history as the most diverse. The nominees and winners lists this year can successfully help the AMVCAs shed off the ‘Nigeria-only’ tag.

Last year, for example, two Nigerian production films The Meeting and October 1st won 14 awards between them; five and nine respectively. This was attributed to different factors including failure by other regions to submit entries.

Last year, stakeholder engagements were rolled out with the first one being held in Nairobi as a plan to get more industrial players involved in the AMVCAs. Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, regional director M-Net Africa said during a press conference after the awards ceremony that the engagements will continue to different parts of the continent.

That could be the reason why Malawi got its first nomination and first-ever AMVCA accolade with Joyce Chavura’s Lilongwe. It was the biggest surprise of the night as it beat highly-billed Ayanda (two awards) and Tell Me Sweet Something (two awards) in the southern Africa category.

1.L-R Adesua Etomi (Best Actress), Daniel K. Daniel (Best Actor), Stephanie Linus (Best Overall Movie), Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu and M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle at the winners’ press conference
 L-R Adesua Etomi (Best Actress), Daniel K. Daniel (Best Actor), Stephanie Linus (Best Overall Movie), Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu and M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle at the winners’ press conference

While accepting her award, Mhango said the award was a special moment for the country’s budding film industry. Dry, a film about underage marriages, was the biggest winner taking home three awards including the overall accolade.

Uganda had three nominations for the very first time. Unfortunately none won. Ugandan producer Kenneth Ssebaggala, whose two films Call 112 and House Arrest were nominated, told us on the ceremony’s sidelines that his films did not get enough viewership and could not compete against those showing on big platforms such as Africa Magic.

He also said Ugandans did not vote. Daniel K. Daniel beat big names such as Van Vicker, Segun Arinze and Majid Michel to the best actor accolade, while Adesua Etomi (Falling) beat Genevieve Nnaji, the queen of African film, to the best actress award.

Yemi Alade on stage
Yemi Alade on stage

THE PRODUCTION

Being at such an event, one cannot help but compare to some of our local productions.

The hosts Minnie Dlamini and IK
The hosts Minnie Dlamini and IK

Truth is, we have a long way to go when it comes to producing shows of such magnitude.

The hosts IK Osakioduwa and Minnie Dlamini had done their homework and made the lines being read off the teleprompter sound so natural. Award presenters were on point and knew where to stand and which microphone to use, not running around like headless chicken. In respect to the event and understanding that it was a live show, the red carpet was on fire by 4pm. I will be sharing some of the lessons we can learn from the event.

Time is of the essence for such events; in 45 minutes, 10 awards had been given out and two performances were done.

“Congratulations and welcome to international standards,” said IK to Stanley Ohikhuare whose acceptance speech full of all the films that inspired him could not fit in the designated 30 seconds.

The show ended 9:45pm and guests moved to the after-party venues and danced to DJ Exclusive’s mixes till morning.

Uganda's Joseph Kenneth Ssebaggala
Uganda’s Joseph Kenneth Ssebaggala

Other winners

Best Art Director – Frank Rajah (The Refugees)

Best Television Series Award – Ariyike Oladipo (Daddy’s Girls)

Best Makeup Artist – Louiza Calore (Ayanda)

Best Short Film or Online Video – Oluseyi Amuwafo (A Day With Death)

Best Writer – Trish Malone (Ayanda)

Best Lighting Designer – Stanley Ohikhuare (Common Man)

Best Cinematographer – Paul Michaelson (Tell Me Sweet Something)

Best Sound Editor – Jose Guillermo (Dry)

Best Picture Editor – Shirley Frimpong- Manso (Rebecca)

Best Costume Designer – Uche Nancy (Dry)

Best Local Language (Swahili) – Single Mtambalike (Kitendawali)

Best Documentary – Remi Vaughan (Faaji Agba)

Best Supporting Actor – Sambassa Nzeriba (A Soldier’s Story)

Best Supporting Actress – Tunbosun Aiyedihin (Before 30)

Best Actor In A Comedy – Folarin Falana (Jenifa’s Diary)

Best Actress In A Comedy – Funke Akindele (Jenifa’s Diary)

Trail Blazer Award – Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju

Best Movie (East Africa) – Elizabeth Michael – (Mapenzi)

Best Director – Akin Omotosho (Tell Me Sweet Something)

Best Overall Movie – Stephanie Linus (Dry)

The red carpet fashion is one of the day's biggest highlights
The red carpet fashion is one of the day’s biggest highlights

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South Africa's Zonke performs
South Africa’s Zonke performs
Nollywood actress Ini Edo bridal inspired outfit was a major talking point on the red carpet
Nollywood actress Ini Edo bridal inspired outfit was a major talking point on the red carpet
Mr Flavour on stage. His sense of style never disappoints. The printed pants and the whole ensemble was on point
Mr Flavour on stage. His sense of style never disappoints. The printed pants and the whole ensemble was on point
Blogger/TV personality Denola Grey (L) with a friend
Blogger/TV personality Denola Grey (L) with a friend

Meet Samson Baranga aka BigSam. He is a passionate photographer, writer, blogger, biker and his passion for fashion knows no boundaries. He is also a fashion columnist in The Observer newspaper.